Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus/Grantland/The Baseball Show with Rany and Joe/pretty much everything has a piece on Grantland about prospects being used and overvalued in trades. Basically, teams are giving up their star players in trades for people who aren't exactly can't-miss prospects, and basically getting really owned, the way Minnesota did on Johan Santana. He views the Molina-Santos deal and the Cahill/Breslow-Parker/others deal as a microcosm of those, and then suggests that AA just go ahead and rape everyone with all their prospects.
AA was on air with Jeff Blair yesterday, talking about the Darvish stuff, and he basically said that he won't disclose any info on whether or not he placed a bid, despite conflicting reports that claim that the Jays bid was over $50MM *cough Richard Griffin*.
Speaking of that little cough, Griffin doesn't site a specific source with that tidbit, but insists that sources within the industry claim that the Jays bid was over $50MM, only to contradict-ish himself the next paragraph
The Jays have been eternally close-mouthed when it comes to confirming their participation in the chase for any free agents and trades, not just in the case of Darvish, but as a matter of policy. In fact, Anthopoulos maintained he would not even have staged a conference call except for the volume of requests that he had and the subsequent recommendation of his media relations staff.so basically, we don't really know. The real meat of that piece is the fact that the Jays (supposedly) bid in the $50MM range. As in "OMG the Jays are spending money!" as if that actually really means anything. Richypoo says that AA's plan hasn't changed, and that the offseason isn't over, and that AA is probably still going to add an arm to the rotation, and another to the bullpen.
Tao of Stieb has a piece looking at the bright side of the Jays not getting Darvish.
The Jays have been linked to Carlos Beltran, possibly because of some unlimited flights thing between Puerto Rico and Canada or something? It wouldn't be a terrible fit, but it would definitely be a precursor to a trade, I feel. I don't really see enough positions/lineup slots to fit Snider, Thames, Lind and Encarnacion if Beltran comes aboard.
The Reds and Cubs are apparently set to trade Travis Wood for Sean Marshall. The Reds acquired Mat Latos the other day, and now have a whole bunch of back-end starters. I thought this was retarded when I first read about it, but Marshall is a pretty good shut-down reliever, and Wood isn't necessarily projected to become awesome without a bunch of work. The Reds are apparently set to going to include prospects, which is probably a dumb idea, considering they're giving up a 24-year-old starter with 4 years of control for a reliever with 1 year of more expensive control. It looks like a slight overpay, even without the prospects, so depending on who the prospects are, this might get ugly. Walt Jocketty appears to be in the business of slightly overpaying for stuff, after giving Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal (among others) to get Mat Latos.
Finally, today in Dayton Moore news, Yuniesky Betancourt has gotten a 1 year, $2MM major league contract from the Kansas City Royals. What the fuck are you doing? Betancourt has never posted anything resembling a league average OPS, nor has he posted an on base percentage above .310 in any season in his career. He's also an absolute dogshit fielder (which is a bad idea if you're a terrible hitter), and has been worth -0.3fWAR over the last 4 seasons combined.